It’s Okay to Ask | Isaiah 58 Ministries’ Mobile Market

It’s Okay to Ask. Everyone Needs Help at Some Point

  • Potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Cabbage
  • Bread
  • Eggs
  • Bacon
  • Yogurt
  • Milk
  • Cupcakes
  • Toilet Paper

What reads as a typical grocery store list is, in reality, what was available for the majority of people who came through the Isaiah 58 Ministries’ Mobile Market on May 6.

Within 1.5 hours, 100 vehicles came through the south St. Louis city mobile food market depleting all but one case of potatoes, which went back to Isaiah 58 for its walk-up customers. About one-third of the motorists who came through were picking up food for more than one family.

At the onset of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 and physical distancing ruling, the St. Louis Area Foodbank and our partner pantries knew we had to quickly adjust how to get food to those who need it. We also knew early on the influx of people needing help would grow exponentially

Thanks to our dedicated team and partners, we decided to expand our drive-through Mobile Markets to be able to get food to people — including hundreds, if not thousands of new people — all while doing so in the safest way possible.

“The Mobile Markets are basically like a fast-food drive-through without the ordering,” said Maya Summers, programs manager at the Foodbank.

“We’re seeing a lot more working-class families coming in … to get their basic needs met,” Brenda Booth, executive director at Isaiah 58 Ministries, shared. “Having a place like the [St. Louis Area] Foodbank to source the food is so important. We are here to provide the resources to people who really need it. Don’t be afraid to ask.”

Oscar* and Amanda* were just two of the people in their cars patiently waiting for the market to begin on this sunny, cool day to receive what the pantry had to offer. They both offered their suggestions to others who may now find themselves needing help but are afraid to ask.

“One day we can help, that’s great but sometimes we cannot,” Oscar, who was diagnosed with leukemia a few years ago, said. He said asking for help is like “going to the doctor.” If you don’t tell them what’s hurting, they can’t help you.

Amand offered her own thoughts, “especially right now, during this time, so many people need help. It happens. It’s not a big deal [to ask for help].”

The moral is, if you need help, it’s okay to ask. Please ask. Find a food pantry on our website or call United Way 2-1-1, (simply dial 2-1-1), they’re available twenty-four hours, seven days week.

* names have been changed


Related Articles